Natalie Hemming murder trial: Partner launched 'calculated attack'

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Natalie HemmingImage source, South Beds News
Image caption,
Natalie Hemming was reported missing on 3 May

A man murdered his partner in a "calculated" attack before dragging her body from their house and dumping it in woodland, a court has heard.

"Jealous" Paul Hemming beat Natalie Hemming, 31, as her children slept upstairs at their Milton Keynes home, Luton Crown Court was told.

Miss Hemming's badly decomposed body was found on 22 May, three weeks after she was last seen.

Mr Hemming, 43, admits manslaughter but denies murder.

The couple lived together in Alderney Avenue, Newton Leys, where the prosecution alleges Mr Hemming murdered his partner in a jealous rage because she had met someone else.

Miss Hemming was last seen alive as she left her mother's home in Hemel Hempstead on 1 May.

Wrapped in carpet

The court heard that her body was found three weeks later 30 miles away at Toms Hill in Chandlers Cross, Hertfordshire.

Simon Russell-Flint QC, for the prosecution, told the court the accused "struck and killed her in the living room".

He then wrapped her naked in a carpet and either carried or dragged her out of the house while her children slept and then dumped her body, he said.

Image source, South Beds News Agency
Image caption,
Miss Hemming's body was dumped in woods at Chandlers Cross

Miss Hemming had a fractured skull and arm, the latter Mr Russell-Flint said was almost certainly a defence wound.

The exact cause of death could not be ascertained because her body was badly decomposed when found.

The court heard Mr Hemming told police Miss Hemming had gone to stay with a friend after being raped by a colleague, however, Mr Russell-Flint said Mr Hemming attacked her because she planned to leave him.

The rape story was a fabrication, he said. He told the court Miss Hemming had spent the night before her death in a hotel with a colleague, Simon Dennis.

Mr Dennis, who worked with Miss Hemming at a car dealership, told the jury their relationship, initially "flirtatious", had recently become more serious and he had booked a hotel for them on the night of 30 April.

The court heard from Miss Hemming's friend, Rebecca Hornsby, that Mr Hemming had been violent towards her and she intended to leave him.

On the day she was allegedly killed she had texted her friend to say she had enjoyed the night with Mr Dennis.

Mr Hemming's actions the following evening were "callous, cold and calculated," Mr Russell-Flint said.

"This is murder. A calculated, murderous attack because of jealousy and rage."

The court was also read a statement by Miss Hemming's mother, in which said she was worried when she could not contact her daughter on the evening of 1 May.

The previous week Miss Hemming told her she had twice ended the relationship with Mr Hemming and he replied: "If I can't have you no one can," the court was told.

Defending Mr Hemming, David Jeremy QC told the jurors that while they may "loathe" the accused, they had to decide whether he had intended to kill Miss Hemming or cause her really serious harm.

Mr Jeremy said it was the defendant's case that he had intended to do neither.

Mr Hemming has admitted obstructing a coroner in the execution of his duty and preventing the lawful and decent burial of a dead body.

The trial continues.

Image source, South Beds News Agency
Image caption,
Paul Hemming and his partner Natalie lived together at an address in Alderney Avenue, Newton Leys, Milton Keynes

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